December 3, 2020 IN: Our Voices, Staff Blog
COVID-19 has changed our communities and our country forever, but we are resilient
Dear SEARAC family,
In 2020, we faced an unprecedented global health crisis, with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus devastating communities from coast to coast, and no clear national leadership to guide us safely through. Anti-Asian racism — a direct result of xenophobic rhetoric from elected officials — compounded the health and economic challenges that Southeast Asian Americans face. And yet, our communities rallied to provide support to one another in our darkest times.
With your partnership, SEARAC worked to dispel mis- and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep our communities safe. From advocating for legislation to bring relief to workers and their families, to raising awareness over the health risks that Southeast Asian Americans in particular face, SEARAC listened to your stories and sought to uplift them to the general public in addition to policy decisionmakers.
These stories included May Saechao, a SEARAC Leadership and Advocacy Training alumnus who advocates for her local Mien community in Oregon. “Mien place a high emphasis on family and community, so naturally, they tend to rely on one another instead, especially in times such as a pandemic,” said May. “Through organizations such as APANO, IRCO, and SEARAC, we have been able to provide some translated material for our community, but there is also a challenge, as only a small percentage of Iu Mien can read our written language. Having relief activities, regardless of the service, provides an outlet for people to seek assistance and creates space for others to engage with one another, to help strengthen and build relationships amongst each other.”
Through your support, we can continue to monitor and advocate for legislation that will improve the lives of our Southeast Asian American families. Your gift enables us to fight back against false information and harmful, divisive language, and amplify truths that center the real experiences of our SEAA communities. Will you donate $75 in honor of 1975, the year that launched the Southeast Asian American legacy, or $45 for the past 45 years of SEAA resettlement to help us reach our fundraising goal of $15,000 by tomorrow?
Sending wishes for your health and safety,
Director of California Policy, SEARAC
PS: The powerful header images featured on all of our end-of-year campaign emails this week highlight the incredible work of our partners across the country supporting SEAA communities. In this header, clockwise from top left: Khmer Census, Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants, and Coalition of Asian American Leaders.